A joke has been circulating about the events of 2020, that we are just checking each morning to see what chapter of Revelation we’re doing today. Although it made me chuckle, it also reminded me what a great comfort the end of the Book can be in times like these. Today, let’s take a closer look at a passage from the very first chapter.
Revelation 1:5,6 in the Berean Study Bible describes our King with these words: “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To Him who loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood, who has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and power forever and ever! Amen.”
What does it mean that He is the faithful witness? We can always trust Him to speak the truth to us, and to reveal the nature of the Father to us perfectly. In His own words, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you,” (John 15:15, NIV).
As the firstborn from the dead, He has conquered death by His resurrection and opened the way for countless souls to join in His victory and be called His brothers and sisters (see Hebrews 2:11-15).
John the apostle wrote, present tense, around A.D. 70 that Christ is the ruler of the kings of the earth. This was during a time of terrible persecution against Christians by the Roman empire, when John himself was exiled. The reality of Christ’s rule is not circumstantial and is not in question when the world around us seems to be going up in flames! In the end, the kings of the earth “will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers,” (Rev. 17:14, NIV).
He is worthy of all glory and power forever, because of His perfect love and selfless sacrifice (Rev. 5, and 1:6). He unbound us from the ties of sin as one releases prisoners, and He renamed us a kingdom and priests. The actions of His love didn’t stop at the cross – the verb in the phrase “To Him who loves us” is in present perfect tense, meaning that He goes on loving us every moment of every day. He is rewriting all of our hard stories and will faithfully carry us to His final victory at the end of the Book!